The base Equinox LS comes with a 2.4-liter 182-horsepower four-cylinder mated to a six-speed automatic and good for up to 32 MPG highway. Front, side and curtain airbags are included, as are antilock brakes and electronic stability control. The least expensive Equinox also gets a full set of power features, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, Bluetooth and a six- speaker audio system with AUX input. All-wheel drive is optional on all Equinox trims. Moving up to LT gets access to the V6 and standard features like a USB input, backup camera, automatic climate control and optional navigation. Full-tilt LTZ cars get leather seats, power liftgate, rear parking sensors and more chrome.
The new Ford Escape features efficient turbocharged engines, high-tech options and a sportier drive. But the Equinox has more room inside and its controls are generally easier to use. The Honda CR-V offers more cargo space and is more fuel efficient with all-wheel drive, but lacks a V6 option. The Subaru Forester has standard all-wheel drive, but has a cheaper interior and only offers a four-speed automatic. Toyota's RAV4 also offers a powerful V6 and boasts and optional third-row seat, but shows its age compared to newer rivals.
For those who don't need a third-row seat in their compact crossover, or believe a turbo engine and sport suspension will just make their passengers sick, the Equinox is a well- rounded, competent vehicle for transporting the family, cargo or a combination of both. Its strong fuel economy figures make it a good choice for long highway trips, too. And buyers considering a midsize crossover will be surprised with the space the Equinox offers, but at a lower price.
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